The social contract is a sacred thing, and, in the vacuum of constant police surveillance in which most people carry on with their daily-chores, we count on strangers to follow a few unstated or quietly stated rules that help society run with greater efficiency. Don’t sneeze into a crowd of people with one’s mouth open. Don’t cut people off in traffic. Pick up your dog’s shit if you live in an urban area. Don’t throw garbage on the ground. Don’t fake illnesses in order to trick a well-meaning ambulance crew into driving you downtown so you can gambol about the CBD without a care in the world about rush hour traffic, which is precisely what a 51-year-old South Carolina woman did at least 100 times in the last seven years.
According to the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, Audrey Ferguson pulled the ‘ol free ambulance ride trick 100-too many times. She was arrested back at the beginning of April (just a measly 24-hours shy of April Fool’s Day, too) when a Dorchester County deputy arrested her at the Trident Medical Center for bumming ambulance rides. Dorchester County EMS Director Doug Warren had suspected for quite some time that Ferguson had been faking, but said that her vague complaints of “abdominal pain” were sometimes linked to a real medical issue, so the medics who responded to her calls were more or less compelled to treat each ride like it was a medical necessity.
Most of the rides, however, most likely were not — after a ride down to the hospital, medics noticed that Ferguson often signed out of the hospital before they could even finish their paperwork. Moreover, according to an incident report from April 2, Ferguson’s ambulance rides were quite costly to the other members of the Dorchester County social contract:
According to the incident report, Ferguson said she didn't have a car and this was the only way she had to get around and Medicaid paid for it anyway. It was part of her benefits.
And all of those ambulance trips taken by Ferguson?
Each one costs $425, plus mileage.
Officials say what Medicaid doesn't pay, taxpayers will have foot the rest of the bill, more than $400,000.
Let this be a reminder to you all — pick up your dog’s shit. Seriously, people step in it like all the time.
Image via Getty, Topical Press Agency